Aspiring manager's pilot

Aspiring-managers-pilot-1Developing management potential

A good manager is the heart of their service, so supporting staff as they move from one role to a higher level is important. Being a manager in adult social care can be incredibly rewarding, but isn’t always easy.

As well as individual development, effective deputies, care coordinators and team leaderss provide crucial support to their manager. A well supported registered manager is able to delegate to staff, helping them better manage their own time.

In 2017 and 2018 we piloted the 'Aspiring manager’s programme', a model of structured support for aspiring and deputy registered managers or those in similar roles, delivered over approximately nine to 12 months.

At the end of the programme participants are better prepared to:

  • start a Level 5 in Leadership and Management in Health and Social Care
  • take more responsibility within their service
  • become a registered manager in the future.

A good manager is the heart of their service, so supporting staff as they move from one role to a higher level is important. Being a manager in adult social care can be incredibly rewarding, but isn’t easy.

Succession planning is a key part of ensuring you continue to provide well-led, consistent and quality care. This pilot supports aspiring managers to develop those skills required to step up to the next level. People who have prepared for the registered manager role start it with more of the skills and experiences they need.

If you’re a manager or employer, then supporting an aspiring manager isn’t just about them, it’s also about supporting yourself. Being able to delegate, take leave and share responsibilities is easier with well-trained and supported staff.

Our research suggests your next manager is already working for you, but that they may not be thinking about becoming a manager yet. When we surveyed managers in 2017, the majority told us that they became a registered manager by taking an opportunity with an organisation they were already working for; but that they hadn’t necessarily planned to become a manager.

Over the course of six months, aspiring registered managers were supported to develop their skills, confidence and knowledge. Every activity is aligned with our Manager Induction Standards (MIS) that set out what all managers should know and understand as part of their role. Each aspiring manager:

You can see a full overview of the programme here.

Each aspiring manager was from a CQC registered service, with an existing registered manager in post. They joined the programme, whilst in roles like senior support worker, team leader, care supervisor, care coordinator and deputy manager.

The aspiring registered managers taking part put themselves forward in partnership with their employers. Where they recognised the potential in their staff, employers told us:

We’ve already seen a difference in staff motivation, with her starting to find her way as a new team leader.

She will step in and do what is needed, working hands on alongside her team, leading by example.

 Aspiring managers, showing the ambition to progress told us:

I aim to provide and maintain a well-led service each and every day, whilst motivating my team to develop their own skills.

I would like to learn new skills and develop my confidence. I would then take this back into my role to help further develop the team I manage.

I think the pilot is an amazing opportunity for future managers. The confidence that my manager and other learners have shown in me has made me believe in myself.


Lucy Doughty, Company Manager, Wirral Independent Living and Learning.

Read about the impact that this pilot has had on Lucy Doughty here

Highly-skilled staff are an investment



Daniel Dutton, Senior SupportWorker, Fine Futures

Read more about Daniel Dutton's experience here.

I feel more confident and find I can deliver things and interact with people with more faith in what I am saying. I don’t feel like I’m pretending as much as I used to.


Hannah Eccles, Area Manager, Fine Futures

Read more about Hannah Eccles' experience here.

You can find a summary of our evaluation of the programme here

I thought this was a fantastic idea to give those staff wanting to become managers the chance to firstly, gain the confidence to become registered managers, and secondly to understand the qualities and skills they will need to fulfil this role.



Dave Large, Chief Executive, Wirral Independent Living and Learning (WILL)

Read more about Dave Large's experience of the pilot, from an employer's perspective  here.  

Our ‘Developing new managers and deputies’ practical online guide is for anyone thinking about supporting an aspiring or deputy manager., care coordinator, team leader or senior support worker. We help you to identify talent, understand what learning and development opportunities are available and provide practical examples and checklists for you to use. The guide builds on everything we learned whilst piloting the Aspiring manager’s programme.

A key component of the programme was the licensed leadership programme Lead to succeed. Employers can access up to £500 towards the cost of this programme via the Workforce Development Fund (WDF). This programme makes up part of our recommended development route for managers. 

If you would like to know more about what support and resources we can offer to aspiring managers, please email us at